If you want proof of the validity of those infamous nicknames for our two major political parties– the Evil Party and the Stupid Party—look no further than the way the Stupid Party (i.e. the GOP) leaves minority votes on the table year after year.
This is particularly true of the African-American community, whose lot seems to get worse and worse the more liberal the administration. And yet the Republicans do nothing to attract their support, especially on a national level, beyond the slightest lip service. An excuse often given is that Repubs don’t want to engage in execrable identity politics, an idealistic view that may be intellectually defensible, but does little if you would like to see real-world change.
Meanwhile, under Obama, the situation of African-Americans has become increasingly miserable with disastrous unemployment numbers, the further decimation of the black family, and a tragic growing murder epidemic in many of their neighborhoods mixed with a monumentally self-destructive war on cops. Accompanying all this has been the rise of #blacklivesmatter, a noxious reworking of the separatist black power movements of the sixties and seventies with, like those earlier groups, less than zero to offer the actual lives of the people it purports to be helping and plenty to hurt them, as we have seen just this weekend in Milwaukee.
At the outset of his campaign I had hopes Donald Trump, in his unconventionality, might reverse this pattern, but other than making blustering pronouncements that large numbers of African-Americans and Latinos actually would be voting for him (when polls say they’re not), he has done hardly anything at all.
I have a suggestion for Donald. Change that—now!
You have several reasons to do it. A few are: 1. The obvious, you might get a few votes. 2. It undercuts the MSM meme that you are a bigot. (Yes, they won’t stop, but so what?) 3. It will impress independent voters that you are a serious person out to solve one of the country’s most important problems and not just the blowhard celebrity portrayed by that same media 4. It will make Democrats nervous (even though they will claim they’re not.). 5. It puts you on offense. You’re a sports fan. You know why that’s important and… 6. It’s genuinely a good thing to do.
Okay, but how?
First, have a plan. The economic speech in Detroit was an excellent start but something more specific to this assignment is needed. Famed quarterback and Republican politician Jack Kemp came up with an approach decades ago that, though Rand Paul has talked about it and Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes wrote a book about it timed to come out for the election, fortunately for Trump, has only barely been tried.
In essence, Kemp’s idea was to make disadvantaged communities tax-free opportunity zones encouraging entrepreneurship and outside investment and putting people to work. This would then take those same people off welfare and food stamps and start making them feel better about themselves. Who knows? Real change could follow. It’s certainly worth a try. The old liberal methods, dating back to LBJ, have been a demonstrable failure.
There are a million permutations to Kemp’s approach, of course, but they are not important to this discussion. What should be important is this sounds like an idea Donald Trump, of all people, is ideally placed to get behind and encourage, to make an integral part of his campaign.
If he does…. if you do, Donald…. you have to go directly into the black communities to promote it. Take Dr. Carson and Tim Scott with you—the South Carolina senator hasn’t been your fan, but I bet a phone call on this idea would turn him around in a second—plus any other of those bravest of Americans known as black conservatives who would want to come.
It’s hard to say what’s prevented Trump from making a move like this so far. Inertia? Habit? A fear of alienating his supporters?
I often think one of Trump’s problems is he underestimates his supporters. Even though he professes to despise the media, on some level he buys their view of the people backing him as angry white people. I have spent a fair amount of time among these supporters at rallies from Iowa to New Hampshire and back to California. Perhaps I’m blind, but I didn’t get one inkling of racism from a single person. Nor did I see all that much anger.
By going into black communities Trump wouldn’t be alienating his supporters. He’d be honoring them.
Roger L. Simon is a prize-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His most recent book is—I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. You can read an excerpt here. You can see a brief interview about the book with the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal here. You can hear an interview about the book with Mark Levin here. You can order the book here.